Too many point guards

Gilberto Manzano

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It’s not every day that a head coach has three talented point guards to run his offense and make his job easier. Matador head coach Bobby Braswell is one of the lucky ones to have three guards, but his job has not gotten easier–it has probably gotten harder.

In six games the point-guard trio of Mark Hill, Vinnie McGhee and Dathan Lyles have only 23 assists between them, and all three are averaging less than two assists per game.

In order for CSUN (3-3) to win their game tonight at the Matadome, the trio will need to step their game up against Idaho, a team that is deep at the guard position.

“They have some nice guards. We have to play hard defense and play smart and not try to get into foul trouble,” McGhee said about trying to slow down the Vandal guards.

In Monday night’s victory over Cal State Bakersfield, McGhee exploded for 19 points off the bench and looked like a true point guard when he was running the offense in the crucial moments of the game.

With McGhee having a good game, Braswell is now faced with the dilemma of whether he should be in the starting lineup against the Vandals. McGhee hasn’t started a game in the young season, but Hill and Lyles have three starts apiece.

“I don’t know what (Braswell) is going to do,” McGhee said about the starting lineup tonight. “I just know that once he calls my name, I’m just going to come in and play.”

Hill, a senior, was supposed to be the regular starter and usually gets the latter minutes between the other two guards, but his recent struggles have made Braswell take him in and out the starting unit and cut down his minutes drastically.

“Mark got to play better,” Braswell said about Hill’s recent funk. “Mark got to concentrate on the things he needs to concentrate on. I think right now he got offensive on the brain a little bit. He’s got to focus on defense and get this team (running).”

Hill isn’t concerned about starting and is more worried about helping the team out in any way possible.

“I feel like I’m struggling right now, so whatever helps the team right now,” Hill said, who is averaging a low 4.7 points and 1.7 assists. “As long as I’m playing and help the team.”

When asked if he feels there is competition between himself, McGhee and Lyles he said, “I really don’t feel like it’s a competition. It’s good to have three point guards that can play and can be a starter at all times. There is no competition.”

It’s Lyles’ first year at Northridge, and he has come with a lot of experience. Last season, Lyles won a national title at the junior college level for Salt Lake Community College. He hasn’t been able to show what he truly brings to CSUN since he is coming off surgery in his right ankle. Lyles doesn’t feel like he has his explosiveness and that he won’t be 100 percent until February.

Lyles believes that practicing with Hill and McGhee will make him a better point guard.

“There both great point guards,” Lyles said about Hill and McGhee. “Day in and day out, we all have our days beaten each other (at practice). “No matter what we get into on the court, we always remain good friends.”

The Vandals come to Northridge with a 4-1 record and have already beaten a tough Utah team, who has beaten Illinois.

Idaho’s top scorer is Steffan Johnson, who is averaging 14.8 points per game.

Matador Lenny Daniel feels that whenever a team comes to the Matadome, they need to do everything to protect their home court.

“This is our house, no matter who comes here. If it’s Kansas or whoever it is, it doesn’t matter who comes here, we’re going to play hard and we’re going to win because we protect this house as if it was our own,” Daniel said.